On Saturday 8th October 2011, I attended the first ever “unconference” for librarians, held in Birmingham.

I was an amazing experience, where I got to meet up with people I’d met at the New Professionals Conference 2011, put faces to Twitter names, meet the #UKlibchat team, and to come into contact with so many people with such passion for their profession!




The event had it’s own Poet in Residence! The lovely Mark Niel who book marked the event with some wonderful poems about libraries at the start and the end of the unconference. It was also the first time that I’d seen a guitalele which is a guitar/ukelele hybrid.


I’m a part of the UKlibchat team which runs fortnightly LIS related chat sessions.  [Find out more at our official website http://uklibchat.wordpress.com/]. Though we’ve been conversing with each other via e-mails and twitter, it was the first time meeting some members of the team in person. Joseph wasn’t there, but it was great to be able to speak to Sam, Sarah and Adrienne.

Library Camp also gave us the chance opportunity to run a session on social media which ended up to be more specifically about what we were doing with #UKlibchat .  We garnered a lot feedback about what we were doing, and what we could do better.  It seems like people do think that what we do is useful, so that was good to know. And hopefully the team can take what we’ve learnt from the session, and move forward with it!


The first session that I attended was about CILIPs Public Library Group, which I’m a member of.  I’ve been in this group for over a year now, and nothing has happened to it. It was good to finally meet a committee member, and to see that there is a recognition that the PL group  can and should be doing more. I’ve also put my name up to join the committee. Hopefully more things can happen. We talked about creating more online resources that would be open to all and not just for CILIP members, and discussed the ways that it could be more vocal and provide support for Public Libraries.


“Games and gamification” was another lively session, where ideas were positively zip zap zinging.  I scribbled furiously to try and keep up with all the ideas that came out about using games in libraries to engage people, to get them to come, to get them to learn.

Luckily I’ve just been pointed to the session notes, which includes the audio files. http://libcampuk11.wikispaces.com/Session+notes


The session was interesting to me because. 1. I love games (digital and analogue) 2. I believe that libraries need to do more to promote themselves and engage with their users.

A lot of real examples were given of how games have been used in libraries and how games could be used.  And the examples showed that there was a variety of ways in which games can be used.

  • Running fire drills with Halo maps
  • Using games like Hearts and Spades to each basic skills
  • Virtual treasure hunts in libraries
  • Using Foursquare, where people can check at libraries, and leave tips for other users.
  • Using QR codes to give enhanced content information on books, items etc.
  • Death in the library< murder mystery games where clues are in books.
There is so much potential and possibility! I hope to be able to explore this further and to apply it at work!

Library Camp was also Cake Camp with many attendees bringing along cakes that they’d baked for the occasion.

The one thing I regretted is that it turns out I can only have so many sugary things at once. I only managed to have One brownie, two cookies, one cupcake, and a banana bread. All of which was SCRUMPTIOUS.

By the time I heard about the awesomeness of the Beetroot cake, it was already all gone.  *sniff sniff*


There were five sessions being run at a time, and so the whole atmosphere was buzzing, with exchanges of information happening inside and outside the  sessions.  I felt like I’d learnt a lot in the space of a day, and also inspired.

It was an amazing day!

I hear that there are plans for Library Camp 2011.



[Check out the Library Camp UK 2011 Wiki to find out more about what it is, and what happened,  and use the hashtag #libcampuk11 on twitter to find out what people have said about it]


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